| July/August 1987

8 HP Model U Thermoil engine

Bud Berry

R.D. #1, Box 224, Drums, Pennsylvania, 18222

I purchased this 8 HP Model U Thermoil engine in 1979 from the son of the man that purchased it new from Sears, Roebuck in 1918? They used it to run a small thresher and feed grinder till the 40's.Then it sat for ten or more years and the son acquired it and ran a coal cracker for about seven or eight years.

Everyone who used this engine tells about starting problems. The instructions say: prime first, then set compression relief lever, turn flywheels with crank nine or ten times, remove crank, close compression relief valve and if the Lord is willing the engine will start.

But not every time! I am a light weight person and not too much on muscle and this method won't work for me. The person I purchased from said they put gas in it (one day when their Dad wasn't home). Well, the engine started and ran away from the governor and being young boys they were afraid of it and they ran away! After getting their heads together, they used a clothes prop and opened the compressor relief to stop!

After having this engine for one year I figured the best way was to use a Pony motor. I used a 2 HP Briggs only to find out I would need at least 4 HP to turn the Thermoil through compression.

I finally got a 4 HP header (hit and miss). This would surely have enough power to complete 4 cycles of compression and start the Thermoil.